An international mix of cultures and fun times Past Review

By (Linguistics., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/05/2012 to 08/27/2012 with

Umbra Institute: Perugia - Direct Enrollment in Semester, Summer or Academic Year Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained fluency in Italian, awesome friends back in Italy and a whole new appreciation for cultures. Definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Are you kidding? It was Italy. The food was FANTASTIC and I ate EVERYTHING.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I studied at the University for Foreigners and lived with Italians, so the cultural integration was high for me

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Lived on a dangerous street

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 10 euro- so about $12-$13
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When pulling out money from the ATM, divide your money so you know how much you can spend on different things. Make an envelope for groceries, one for any weekend adventures you have planned, and one for social events. Also, ask around for the cheapest grocery stores and don't buy things on a whim just because you "miss" the food- you'll get plenty of peanut butter when you come back the states. Take a chance and taste the foods of the land you're in.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

My University was the #1 University in Italy for learning Italian. All the classes were taught in Italian.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I was in a theater course in Italian, so I was past the lower levels, into upper division
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? SPEAK IT. Do not just write the language, you need to actually SPEAK out loud in order to gain fluency. Find a friend who speak the language as well, preferably fluently so they can help correct any mistakes. Be humble when you make a mistake and someone corrects you, they're only helping.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • How helpful the staff was with dealing with situations
  • The "tandem" nights where we got to meet other Italians
* What could be improved?
  • Interaction between full immersion students of Stranieri and those who studied at Umbra
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How dangerous Perugia was and how incredibly introverted the people were in the city. And how COLD it would be during winter. Also, didn't realize it was on top of a hill.